Monday, August 15, 2005

Hot Korean salad

Tonight I tried my first recipe from Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall's Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen. It's a fascinating book about growing up on a farm/estate in Korea, though some of the recipes are not what you would try at home. It is good to learn how to make homemade soy sauce and toenjang (fermented soybean paste), but how many will want to make enough to last a family of five for a year?

What I did was on a much smaller scale: I tried "Leaf Lettuce Salad." I diverged from the recipe by serving the dressing over some pea shoots from the Asian supermarket rather than lettuce, but this would go well with all kinds of greens. The dressing mixes soy sauce (I used shoyu), minced scallion and garlic, ch'ongju (Korean rice wine), rice vinegar, salted shrimp (I used dried shrimp powder), lemon juice, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and black pepper. As one might guess from that suite of ingredients, this is a hot, garlicky salad dressing, but it was not as hot as I feared. For once, I did not reduce any of the hot seasonings, since lately I seem to want more heat in my food, not less. Think of it as a spicy vinaigrette, with maybe a hint of a shrimp undertone at times. It was refreshing, and I'm sure I'll use it again.


Brent said...

The book sounds pretty cool. I guess it addresses recipes that are a little more "home-style" or "family-style" than you would normally find in a cookbook? Are all of the recipes on such a grand scale as feeding a family for a year?!

Winslow said...

Hi Brent,

Rest assured that most of the recipes in Hepinstall's cookbook are not intended to feed a family for a year! Most of the recipes are written for a conventional meal setting for a few people, with a few odd ones such as the soy sauce/toenjang one I mentioned in my post. It is kind of interesting to read recipes constructed on such a heroic scale, if only for academic interest.